Guidance to the highest standard

Having worked in the electrical industry for over 40 years, and participated in the development of the I.S. 10101, John Clare was no stranger to every detail of the National Rules for Electrical Installations in Ireland. While working on the new standard, John had an idea in the back of his mind: to write a guidebook to the new standard with a focus on a visual representation of the new rules, with clear pictures and diagrams. After extensive research and collaboration with his sons Darren, Jonathan, and Shane, John published the “Practical Guide to the National Rules for Electrical Installations” in 2020, and the book has since then become a vital addition to any electrician’s toolbox.

“Throughout my career, I have been very conscious of the importance of safety and good standards in the electric trade, and also the continuous need to further education and upskilling,” John explains. The book highlights changes in the rules and includes a step-by-step testing guide, a risk assessment for the installation of surge protection devices, and useful diagrams and tables for fault loops, RCD trip times, and cable resistance. “I have placed more emphasis on the diagrams because often a picture can provide a better level of clarity to the reader. I am perhaps more aware of this because of my challenges with literacy dyslexia,” he comments.

Since the launch, book sales have exceeded expectations, and feedback has been very positive. The emphasis on visual elements has also proved a hit. “The most popular section seems to be the chapter on testing, which shows the whole process with diagrams and tables to assist throughout,” John says.

Two years after the launch of the I.S. 10101, everyone seems to have a handle on the new regulations but, according to John, the change in the cable standard still poses some challenges for installers. “Sometimes the new cable can be difficult to strip, and a special tool may be required for the job.” 

A life in the industry 

John’s expertise has crowned him as a leading authority on rules for electrical installations, but it all started in 1978, with a year off the job in ANCO in Dundalk and an apprenticeship with Tom O’Reilly Electrical Contractors in Castletown KP Navan. Then, John worked as a contractor for 10 years and, in 1992, joined the Register of Electrical Contractors of Ireland (RECI) as an inspector. 

John was promoted to Chief Inspector in 2014 and continued in that role until 2020. “It was an exciting time for me, managing the RECI inspectorate, joining Technical Committee 02, (formally with ETCI and now NSAI), working with the office staff of RECI, and with the general manager at the time Paul Waldron, who was a pleasure to work with and an excellent manager.” 

In 2020 John set up his own training company and has provided training courses on the changes to the NSAI National Rules for electrical installations, and Verification and Certification courses for various electrical contractors.

Today he is an Assistant Lecturer at the Dundalk Institute of Technology where with his extensive experience he is helping the next generation of electricians.

In his free time, John loves to go hiking and joins the Navan Trekkers regularly for walks in the Mourne or the Wicklow Mountains. 

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